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The History of Wado Ryu

The Wado Ryu (Way of Peace) school of karate, was founded by the late grand master Hironori Ohtsuka (1892-1982), the highest karate authority in Japan, who for many years studied the finer points of Jui Jitsu and combined them with Okinawan karate.

Ohtsuka Sensei was already an accomplished master of Shindo Yoshin Ryu Jui Jitsu when master Gichin Funakoshi introduced karate in Tokyo, Japan. Master Ohtsuka became interested in karate in 1922. By 1928, he was assistant instructor to Funakoshi Sensei. In 1931 master Ohtsuka founded the Wado Ryu style of karate. In 1972, Ohtsuka Sensei was awarded the title Shodai Karate-do meijin Judan (the greatest title possible) from the Imperial Japanese family. This means first generation karate master of the 10th dan; he was the first Japanese (not Okinawan) to make a style of karate in the form of Japanese budo, thus making it a true Japanese martial art. Master Ohtsuka also received the Shiju Hooshu medal for his outstanding contributions to sport from the government of Japan. He was the only man ever in the history of karate to be so honoured.

Gichin Funakoshi Sensei

Hironori Ohtsuka Sensei

Kuniaki Sakagami Sensei

Wado Ryu karate is a fast, fluid style which emphasizes body movements in evasion. Evasion is stressed rather than meeting brute force head on. It's highly characteristic "nagashizuki" exemplifies the style's sophistication. The techniques are light and quick. The practitioner defends by using deflecting movements, and either accompanies it with a simultaneous counterattack or follows it up with an immediate counterstrike. Twisting of the hip is emphasized to generate power for the quick snappy techniques.

''one's physical movement is a manifestation of one's spirit'' - Ohtsuka sensei

The above text has been taken from the AIWAKAI syllabus book which can be purchased from the Aiwakai Karate-Do website or from the equipment officer.